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Parental Alienation: How it Affects the Child


Parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a process by which a child is “brainwashed” and psychologically manipulated by one parent against another. It is undoubtedly a form of emotional abuse that can negatively affect the child for the remainder of their life.

The child victim of PAS often suffers from psychological and emotional effects caused by a parent’s attempt to destroy their relationship with the targeted parent. These may include feelings of intense anger they will have difficulty managing. The anger will impact their behavior, thus affecting their success and feelings of accomplishment in school and elsewhere. Relationships may be difficult to maintain and manage as their ability to trust and deal with conflicts will be diminished. The child may also lack empathy for others and have difficulty with authority figures.

Other symptoms related to PAS include depression, substance abuse, sleep problems, decreased activity, feelings of isolation, increased use of technology as an escape, sibling conflict, decreased attention span, lack of friends, anxiety, memory loss, and other symptoms. These issues may require psychotherapy for the child to express their feelings appropriately and regain a sense of control in their own lives.

Please visit us again to learn how PAS affects the adult who experienced PAS as a child.

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